GoM admits to glitches in network delaying GST filings

Bengaluru: Technical glitches and procedural problems galore on the GST Network have delayed payments and filing of returns under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, a Group of Ministers (GoM) admitted on Saturday.

“Technical glitches, procedural problems and absence of some forms on the network portal are causing delays in making payments and filing of returns by traders and dealers under the new GST regime,” Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who is the GoM’s convener, told reporters here.

The five-member GoM, which held its first meeting here, was set up on September 12 to look into the technical issues faced by the GST Network and address them in consultation with all stakeholders and its vendor, Infosys Ltd.

The decision to form the GoM was taken at the last meeting of the GST Council in Hyderabad on September 9 after several member states complained to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who heads the Council, that the glitches were causing problems for taxpayers in filing returns and making payments.

“As the new tax regime is being implemented only since July 1, with filings, posting invoices, making payments and returns entirely online through the GST Network (GSTN), there are bound to be glitches in the initial days, which we are trying to address them on fast track,” said Modi after chairing the GoM’s first meeting here.

Besides Modi, other GoM members are Chattisgarh Minister for Commercial Taxes Amar Agarwal, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda, Kerala Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Issac and and Telengana Finance Minister Etela Rajendar.

GSTN Chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey and CEO Prakash Kumar assist the GoM in addressing the glitches.

“Over the last two months, 23,18,000 new traders have registered for the GST, with 11 lakh dealers under the composition scheme, taking the total number to over 85 lakh, including 62.25 lakh traders who migrated from the old VAT and service tax regime,” said Modi.

Under the composition scheme, traders or dealers with less than Rs 75-lakh annual turnover have to file their quarterly returns though they will not tax their consumers.

“Though 47 lakh traders have filed summary returns under the GSTR3B for July, only 3.05-lakh of them have filed for August so far while the deadline is September 20,” said Modi.

The glitches in the network will also compound filing the returns, as the GST portal will not be able to cope with the load on the system if traders rush to file at the last minute.

“The GST portal is by far the world’s largest network, on which 22 crore invoices were filed over the last two months from across the country,” he said.

Declining to explain the glitches faced by dealers to comply with the GST norms, Modi said the GoM had discussed the issues with Infosys, Commercial Tax officials of the state and central governments and tax consultants and resolved to fix about 80 per cent of them by October 30.

As each dealer had to register with PAN and Aadhaar numbers and comply with the norms applicable to them under the GST regime, they have been also facing procedural problems, as some of the forms to be filled were not yet uploaded on the portal.

“We have taken up the issues raised by the stakeholders with the vendor and instructed it to address each of them on priority to ensure hassle-free filing of returns and payments by traders or dealers from November 1,” added Modi.